Financial incentive may not boost employees’ exercise

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Washington D.C., Feb. 16(ANI): According to a new study, paying employees to exercise doesn’t work, however its reverse might.

Researchers from American College of Physicians have found that the gain incentive was no more effective than control. In comparison, a loss incentive resulted in a 50 percent relative increase in the mean proportion of time participants achieved their physical activity goals.

Researchers found that financial incentives for promoting daily physical activity goals are most effective when the award can be lost. This implies that the threat of having an award taken away is more effective than not earning one in the first place.

More than half of adults in the United States do not get the minimum amount of exercise required to reduce their risk for disease and death. Workplace wellness programs are growing in popularity and more than 80 percent of large employers now use some form of financial incentive to encourage participation.

However, little research exists on the efficacy of financial incentive designs.

The findings suggest that the way in which a financial incentive is framed is important to its effectiveness. This information may be especially helpful to employers looking to implement workplace wellness programs.

The study is published in the journal of Annals of Internal Medicine.(ANI)

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